NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Three companies in the semiconductor sector are reporting earnings this week, and this will have an impact on Semiconductor HOLDRs ( SMH).

Intel Corp. ( INTC) will be issuing their earnings report for the latest quarter on Tuesday after the market closes, along with Linear Technology Corp. ( LLTC).

Later in the week, Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) will report their first quarter earnings on Thursday after the market closes.

Anyone who has ever looked at the sticker on their computer indicating the company that makes the processor has likely heard of Intel, which sells parts for a multitude of various electronic devices. The company's chips power three quarters of the PCs in the world.

Although not as famous, LLTC also makes components for electronics such as cell phones, cameras, computers, and GPS systems, among other things. AMD is only slightly smaller by market capitalization but has a narrower focus and sticks to mainly providing parts for home computers, office servers and video game consoles.

In comparison, INTC's market capitalization is roughly 20 times that of LLTC or AMD.

Among the semiconductor sector ETFs with exposure to these three companies, SMH allocates the greatest amount of net assets to INTC, AMD and LLTC. INTC accounts for 23.8% of SMH, while LLTC and AMD account for 5.1% and 1.3%, respectively.

However, earnings in this sector can be an unpredictable foundation on which to base an investment decision. For instance, last quarter, INTC reported very well but shares lost value on the day. It can happen that general market sentiment, financial news, or expectations of what earnings should be for a company will have a larger impact on shares when they issue their quarterly report than the strength of the report itself.

Hopes are again high this earnings session for Intel to beat expectations and for the semiconductor sector to report well because the industry has seen strong demand over the course of the quarter.

However, hardware demand in the latter part of the year is also expected to remain strong. ETF Investors looking beyond an earnings play for this week should look to iShares S&P North American Technology-Semiconductors Index Fund ( IGW).

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